J.S. Bach: Four Triosonatas for Two Flutes and B.c., After Viola Da Gamba Sonatas and Musical Offering


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    The idea of recording these sonatas was born in 2019 on a hot August afternoon in Granollers, near Barcelona, at the house of a legendary flautist: Claudi Arimany. Over the years we have often met to play together, even just for fun. Mozart, Haydn, Devienne, Telemann and Bach are our favorites. And it is Bach who has a special place in my heart; his rigor and perfection make his music, as well as Mozart’s music, impalpable and “divine”. We had already played Sonatas BWV 1028 and BWV 1029 in Joseph Bopp’s historical transcriptions and it was precisely these versions that made me think of a disc where to bring together all the compositions for viola da gamba written by the genius from Weimar, but in an original and unpublished version, as well as the “Musical Offering”, recorded for the first time for two flutes and continuo. Playing with big names of music is always exciting, but recording with Claudi, considered the heir of Jean-Pierre Rampal, is truly special. Claudi has something unique, his sound and his musicality are precious and the harpsichordist Jordi Reguant and the cellist David Apellàniz have been irreplaceable musicians.
    2023 © Andrea Mogavero

    Making a record is always something of a personal challenge. I want it to be something new and original, even when it comes to music written centuries ago.
    This recording includes the three sonatas for viola da gamba and obligato harpsichord and the Trio sonata from the “Musical Offering” for flute, violin and basso continuo. An extraordinary musica that we have transcribed for two flutes and continuo. The process is simple. In the case of the three sonatas, one of the flutes plays the viola da gamba part, while the other plays the right hand part of the harpsichord, leaving the left hand part, and the bass part on the cello. We have done precisely this, without resorting to the use of existing transcripts but sticking to the original. As for the Trio sonata from the “Musical Offering”, the violin part has simply been replaced here by a second flute. It is in this sense that all these versions are new and original in a certain way and constitute the world premiere recording of these works. On this occasion I had the immense pleasure of making music with colleagues, some for many years, with whom I found myself particularly at ease and with whom the music flowed with absolute ease. For me there is nothing more pleasant than making music with friends and playing together with a young talent like Andrea Mogavero, it was a great joy and satisfaction.
    2023 © Claudi Arimany

    Baroque music represents for the flute a repertoire of such richness that recourse to transcriptions strictly speaking is not necessary. And we also know the musical empiricism of the time which allowed to play a part of descant on almost any instrument that we had at hand. But the case of the music of Johann Sebastian Bach remains quite special. For a very long time, few performers dared to embark on various instrumental alternatives of his works. The fact that many pages of the Cantor have come down to us in various forms was however well known, both to the musicians themselves and to musicologists and historians. But the reluctance remained strong for a simple reason: if the density of this music gives the feeling that it could be played on any instrument with the same expressive power, it seems at the same time written in an ideal and exclusive way for the specified instruments… The important thing, for the artist today wishing to enrich his repertoire with new works by Bach, is therefore to know how to show himself to be particularly clear-sighted in the choice of the works he would be tempted to transcribe, by summoning several specific criteria. Among them, the adequacy of the new instrumental formation is naturally an essential point, as is the way in which the new version of the work will be able to fit into the programs and earn its place in the concert repertoire. But the historical point of view is just as important because Bach himself left precise examples from which it is possible to draw inspiration, whether they are different instrumentations of concerti, various uses of the same music in a profane or sacred setting, or even different elaborations of the same work. This last point proves to be especially captivating in the field of the trio sonata, exploited in the most complete way possible: the three-part writing is indeed found in him as well with two instruments (descant) and bass as frequently to an instrument and keyboard – the right hand then holding the part of second descant – and even for a solo performer as is the case for the trio sonatas for organ BWV 525-530. As luck would have it that two versions of certain pages reach us, it then becomes possible to approach others of the same kind, either by following the same approach, or by taking it in the opposite direction. If Bach was particularly daring and prolific in the innovative form that was in the first half of the 18th century, the trio sonata for one instrument with obligatory harpsichord – the sonatas with flute, violin and viola da gamba offer striking examples – these pages do not seem to have been written ex nihilo but well drawn from previous compositions. Several examples demonstrate this, notably the fact that the trio sonata for flute and violin BWV 1038 is found in the lower key as a duet for violin and harpsichord BWV 1022, and that the sonata for two flutes BWV 1039 is identical to the sonata for viola da gamba BWV 1027. This will also be the case with many other composers: certain sonatas for flute and obbligato harpsichord by Johann Joachim Quantz obviously come from trios for two flutes and bass, and those by Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach emanate from trios for flute, violin and continuo. The Sonata in G major BWV 1039 is, together with that of the Musical Offering, the only trio for two descants and bass by Bach whose authenticity can in no way be doubted. Its date of composition, however, is uncertain. Some date it back to the years when the composer was Kapellmeister to Prince Leopold of Anhalt-Köthen (1717-1723), or even a little earlier in the Weimar period. Others place it later, in Leipzig, roughly contemporary with its version for viola da gamba, around 1740. It is just as striking for the distinction of its rapid movements – the final fugue is as light as it is dizzying! – than by the strong expressive identity of the slow episodes. The perpetual crossing of the parts in the initial Adagio diffuses a unique quasi-pastoral atmosphere, and the third movement is even more striking by its nocturnal atmosphere, contrasting the perfect regularity of the flutes and an imperturbable bass instilling the most subtle harmonies. It was on the initiative of the Swiss flautist Joseph Bopp that the two other sonatas for viola da gamba were reconstituted for two flutes and bass [Édition Ernst Reinhardt, Basel, 1973. However, the performers of this recording produced their own reconstruction.].
    The first flute then appropriates the right hand part of the harpsichord, while the second flute plays the voice of the lower viol. Besides the example of Sonata BWV 1039, the fact that writing for the string instrument is never polyphonic strongly argues for such an option with two flutes or two violins. And there is little doubt, on hearing this version, that the sonata in D major BWV 1028 most certainly came from such a formation. If we except the fact that his introductory Adagio is of lesser dimension, it is moreover not unrelated to that in G major. The second movement is a witty game of responses this time around a syncopated motif, and the climaxes are found again in the last two episodes. The Sicilian of the Andante in B minor – Bach’s favorite key for the flute – alternates the purest melancholy with luminous clearings to complete an exquisite chromatic progression, while the ternary Finale swirls with joy in the greatest volubility, shortly before the end sparing the listener an astonishing section of 13 bars in uninterrupted responses on a subtle tonal instability. Although equally convincing in this form, it is quite possible that the Sonata in G minor BWV 1029 does not find its origin entirely in a trio of two descants and bass but rather in a concerto. Several elements come to justify this hypothesis, if only the fact that the work escapes the structure of the Sonata da chiesa in four movements that we find in all the other trios. But above all, the music itself appears markedly different. The eight opening bars of the Vivace are much more reminiscent of an orchestral tutti – they recall, moreover, the beginning of the 3rd Brandenburg Concerto – and the Adagio does not present the response formulas of the two upper voices as much as usual. If we add that the bass of these first two movements seems less concerto, we would rather be tempted to see there two concerto movements. The ornamental virtuosity of the Vivace and the nocturnal atmosphere of the Adagio would even plead largely for a concerto for two harpsichords… Only the Finale, whose bass line recovers a beautiful virtuosity, better joins the idea of an original trio sonata , although here again the writing may in many places betray an original for two keyboards. With spectacular architecture and expression, Sonata BWV 1029 is almost unanimously considered one of the most beautiful trios by its author alongside Sonata BWV 1030 for flute and harpsichord and that of the Musical Offering BWV 1079. The latter hardly needs an introduction today. Written on a theme provided to Bach by the King of Prussia Frederick II during his visit to Potsdam in 1747, it represents an incomparable masterpiece of mastery, nobility and depth, achieving a brilliant synthesis of a Baroque style. contrapuntal carried to its summit and of a sensibility sometimes closer to the gallant style which the court of Berlin precisely saw developing. One could almost say that the work reconciles the traditional taste of the monarch and the affect dear to Carl Philipp Emanuel! Flexibility of articulation, breaks in lines and registers, delicacy of sound colours… so many elements that come together with implacable rigor in rapid movements. The dramatic appearances of the theme in its pure state in the first Allegro, the way in which the Finale transforms it and plays with its elements to tremendous virtuosity are enough to leave the listener dumbfounded for a long time to come. Already adapted for flute and keyboard by the great flautist Aurèle Nicolet, the work is recorded here for the first time for two flutes and bass, with some essential adaptations on the violin part. Such a set of four Bach trio sonatas gives the listener ample reason to marvel at their expressive diversity and evolution. But even more, this disc comes at the right time to show how, nearly three centuries away, this brilliant musical material allows musicians to create and recreate new musical worlds.
    Denis Verroust (Association Jean-Pierre Rampal)
    Saint-Maur, August 2022
    Translation: Beatrice Fatano


    Andrea Mogavero: Begins studying flute in 1992 after listening to the well-known French virtuoso Jean-Pierre RAMPAL, who becomes his principle guide and source of inspiration.
    He cleverly graduates at the “Tito Schipa” Conservatory in Lecce, Italy and then he specializes with the international soloists Andrea GRIMINELLI and Claudi ARIMANY.
    He collaborated with the great flutist Sir James GALWAY, with Massimiliano DAMERINI, Andrea GRIMINELLI, Claudi ARIMANY, Lady Jeanne GALWAY; with the canadian singer-songwriter Patrick WATSON, Vittoria YEO and the Luciano PAVAROTTI FOUNDATION.
    In 2009 he has been invited to study at the “Ecole Normale de Musique A. Cortot” in Paris, from the Maestro Shigenori KUDO.
    He has studied with important flutists as Jànos BALINT, Pierre-Yves ARTAUD and achieves the Degree in Musical Teaching Methodology at the “Nino Rota” School of Music in Monopoli, Italy; he got the Degree in Flute Soloist at the “G. Paisiello” Musical Institute in Taranto, Italy - studying with the flute teacher Angelo Malerba - and the Degree in Chamber Music. He attends “High Specializing Master for Wind Instrument Musicians in Soloist and Orchestras’ Repertoire” with Hans-Jörg SCHELLEMBERGER (1st Oboe at the Berliner Philharmonisches Orchester 1977-2001), Claudio Paradiso, Lorenzo Castriota Skanderbeg and Karl MARTIN.
    He studied opera singing with Vanna Massari CAMASSA – Tito SCHIPA’s pupil.

    Claudi Arimany, Flute
    “Claudi Arimany is, in my opinion, one of greatest flautists of his generation.
    He is one of those virtuosi who place technique, sonority and phrase colouring at the service of musicality and sensitivity, something not within the grasp of many.”
    Jean-Pierre Rampal, August 1999

    Claudi Arimany was born in Granollers near Barcelona (Spain).He is considered one of the most prestigious Spanish soloists. He was a student of Jean-Pierre Rampal at the Paris Conservatory of Music.
    Arimany has performed, as soloist, with Jean-Pierre Rampal, Maxence Larrieu, and Aurele Nicolet, as well as with numerous orchestras including the English Chamber Orchestra, Berlin Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra, Philharmonia Virtuosi of New York, Berlin Philarmonic Atheneum Quartet, Franz Liszt Budapest Chamber Orchestra, Israel Sinfonietta, Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, Orchestra Internationale d´Italia, Zagreb Soloists, München Bach Orchestra, Moscow Chamber Orchestra, Stuttgart Kammerorchester, China National Symphony Orchestra, European Union Chamber Orchestra, Amadeus Chamber Orchestra, Prague Chamber Orchestra, Berliner Kammerorchester and the Czech Philharmonic.
    Mr. Arimany has been a jury member for the “Rampal International Flute Competition”. He has made numerous recordings on Sony Classical, Novalis, Delos International, and Saphir.
    Claudi Arimany is a Haynes Artist. Claudi plays concerts with the Haynes gold flutes used by Jean-Pierre Rampal during his career. These flutes were given to him after the death of the great master.

    David Apellániz, Cello
    Cellist David Apellániz has appeared as soloist with the Real Orquesta Sinfónica de Sevilla, Lisbon’s Orquestra Gulbenkian, the Orchestre National de Lyon, Orquestra de València and Orquestra Simfònica de Barcelona at some of the music world’s most prestigious events and venues, including the Salzburg and Lyon festivals, the Berlin Konzerthaus and the Quincena Musical Donostiarra (San Sebastián Musical Fortnight). He is also regularly invited to appear as guest principal with the Orquestra de València, Orquesta Sinfónica de Navarra and Orquestra de Cadaqués, among others. He frequently performs with other eminent musicians and ensembles, including the Cuarteto Casals, Nicolas Chumachenco, Gérard Caussé and Paul McCreesh, and has made more than fifteen recordings as soloist for various labels, including Naxos, Sony, Col legno, Neos and RNE. As a member of the renowned Arriaga Piano Trio, he has appeared on stage at the leading international festivals. A champion of contemporary music, he has premiered a number of new works dedicated to him by composers such as Fabián Panisello and César Camarero, and has performed with the Plural Ensemble and Grup Instrumental de València at festivals worldwide. Since 2003 he has been Chair of the Cello Department at the Aragón Conservatory, and he is often invited to give classes at well-known music schools around the world.

    Jordi Reguant, Harpsichord
    Prize of Honor for harpsichord at the Municipal Conservatory of Barcelona, has completed advanced studies with Alan Curtis, Bob van Asperen and Willem Jansen at the Conservatory of Toulouse. He has collaborated with orchestras and various formations such as La Capella Reial, Concertino d'Amsterdam, Dresdner Barocksolisten, Chamber Orchestra of the Free Theater, Symphony Orchestra of the Community of Madrid and Symphony Orchestra Ciudad de Granada; with the concertos in 1, 2, 3 and 4 keys by Bach, Haydn, Falla, Poulenc, Henze, and with conductors and performers such as: Jordi Savall, Ros Marbà, Claudi Arimany, Gustav Leonhardt, Wilbert Hazelzet, Willem Jansen, Christopher Hogwood, etc. Founder of TURBA MUSICI (medieval), CAPELLA VIRELAI (Spanish Renaissance), CAMERATA ÈGARA, with radio recordings on T.V.E., T.V.3, Radio Nacional, Cat. Music, France Music, and several CDs: -Cántigas Alfons X, -Catalan authors of the XVIII-XIX with fortepiano from the Barcelona Instrument Museum, -C.D.I. (History of Spanish Music), -Concerts by A. Soler with Marju Vatsel, and -Music in the Court of the Catholic Kings and Charles I, and -The Songbook of the Duke of Calabria with the Virelai Chapel. He has taught as a teacher of keys, accompaniment, chamber music and improvisation in the Conservatories of Terrassa, Badalona, Superior del Liceu, and in the Historical Music courses of the "La Caixa" Foundation.


    Johann Sebastian Bach: (b Eisenach, 21 March 1685, d Leipzig; 28 July 1750). Composer and organist. The most important member of the family, his genius combined outstanding performing musicianship with supreme creative powers in which forceful and original inventiveness, technical mastery and intellectual control are perfectly balanced. While it was in the former capacity, as a keyboard virtuoso, that in his lifetime he acquired an almost legendary fame, it is the latter virtues and accomplishments, as a composer, that by the end of the 18th century earned him a unique historical position. His musical language was distinctive and extraordinarily varied, drawing together and surmounting the techniques, the styles and the general achievements of his own and earlier generations and leading on to new perspectives which later ages have received and understood in a great variety of ways.
    The first authentic posthumous account of his life, with a summary catalogue of his works, was put together by his son Carl Philipp Emanuel and his pupil J.F. Agricola soon after his death and certainly before March 1751 (published as Nekrolog, 1754). J.N. Forkel planned a detailed Bach biography in the early 1770s and carefully collected first-hand information on Bach, chiefly from his two eldest sons; the book appeared in 1802, by when the Bach Revival had begun and various projected collected editions of Bach’s works were underway; it continues to serve, together with the 1754 obituary and the other 18th-century documents, as the foundation of Bach biography.